trashties_crop.jpg

Apparently the death of the tie is a pretty touchy subject for some. A Continuous Lean got their own little bit of Olch-related blowback, but apparently MR Magazine got it a fair bit worse. That’s trade papers for you: everyone’s an insider.

As a response to this blog post, the trade paper received no less than three angry letters from heads of neckwear companies, bemoaning the decline of their once-fruitful cravats.

The best is from the tieless one himself, Marty Staff of JA Apparel, who goes out of his way to make the Iacocca parallel:

In a manner identical to the U.S. auto industry, neckwear has lost sight of the consumer. [In the past,] American cars didn’t have the style and purpose consumers wanted, and consumers went elsewhere. The U.S. auto industry is now attempting to regain what it lost. There was an unbecoming sense of entitlement in the auto industry…consumers were expected to buy whatever Ford, GM, and Chrysler made. Well, they didn’t.

That’s what’s happening with neckwear.

In a casual culture, neckwear has evolved to be a fashion accessory identical to pocket squares, spring scarves, eyewear, Ipod and Iphone cases, umbrellas, etc. Neckwear expresses something about the individual. It is no longer simply a part of a uniform. In particular men 22 to 30 know they need to dress up, but demand that what they wear expresses something about them.

If you visit Bergdorfs you’ll see neckwear in an inspiring way. If you look at the king of neckwear, Ralph Lauren, and see his Purple Label ties, you’ll be inspired. If you see J. Crew thin rep ties you’ll be inspired. We simply need more inspiration in order to win in this category.

Not that different from the Kempt line, if we may say so. Staff’s right on in big-upping Ralph Lauren Purple Label—and it’s a class move, especially coming from a competitor. As for the tie/scarf comparison, we’re hoping that doesn’t mean Abboud has a line of neckerchiefs in store for fall.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom